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Making a Date

Making a Date

 

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Making a Date


Hello! In this lesson, we will learn some English associated with making a date. The steps of making a date are the same as making any other appointment, but the language is more personal.

The steps are identifying yourself, making some "small talk", asking if the person would like to do a specific activity at a specific time, verifying the time and date, making arrangements for meeting, and verifying. If the other person cannot, or does not want to go with you,

you can make alternate arrangements or discern if the person doesn't really want to go anywhere with you. Of course, these discernments are difficult even when people are speaking their own language.

The language of acceptance and rejection is sometimes vague, whether or not the people are speaking English!

In this scenario, David's cousin Daniel is telephoning a woman from an office in the same building as his. He doesn't know her very well, but David's wife Jennifer knows her. He would like to invite her to go on a "double date" with David and Jennifer. When he saw her in the elevator today, he asked her "Can I call you?". He could have said "Can I give you a call?". She smiled at him and said "Okay.".

Now Daniel is calling Sally on the telephone.

Sally: Hello?

Daniel: Hi Sally. This is Daniel Jones from the office upstairs in your building.

Sally: Oh, hi Daniel, how are you?

Daniel: Fine. How about you?

Sally: Okay. It's nice to hear from you.

Daniel: Sally, I'm wondering if you'd like to get together for dinner with my cousin David and his wife Friday evening.

Sally: That sounds good. I know David's wife Jennifer pretty well.

Daniel: Yeah, I thought it would be fun for all of us. Can I pick you up at your apartment around 6:30?

Sally: Sure. Should I get dressed up or are we going someplace casual?

Daniel: David suggested a steakhouse – do you eat meat?

Sally: Yes, I eat meat. So is it a casual place?

Daniel: Pretty casual. I'm wearing jeans. Maybe you can check with Jennifer and see what she's wearing.

Sally. Okay. You know where I live?

Daniel: Jennifer gave me directions.

Sally: Great! I'm looking forward to it. See you Friday at 6:30.

Daniel. Me too. See you then.

Luckily, Daniel did not get Sally's voicemail. What would he have said if he had gotten her voicemail? He could have either asked her to go on voicemail or he could have said he would call back later.

Here's what he might have said: "Hi Sally. This is Daniel from the office upstairs at your building. I'm calling to see if you would like to join David and Jennifer Jones and me for dinner on Friday. I'll call back a little later." Or he could have said "Hi Sally. This is Daniel from the office upstairs at the meeting. I'll call back a little later.".

But Daniel did not get Sally's voicemail. He identified himself by saying "Hi Sally. This is Daniel Jones from the office upstairs in your building.". Since this is the first time he has called Sally, he gives his first and last name and orients Sally by explaining how he knows her. In this case, he saw her recently and asked if he could give her a call, so she has no trouble recognizing who he is.

Sally says "Oh hi Daniel, how are you?". She could have said "Hi Daniel, it's nice to hear from you.". Both statements encourage David to go ahead and ask Sally for a date. What if she had said "Oh." or just "Hi Daniel.". Neither statement would encourage more talking.

But she asked Daniel how he was, and he answers "Fine, how about you?". He wants to keep the conversation going.

Sally answers "Okay. It's nice to hear from you.". She could have said "I'm happy to hear from you.". She does not want to seem overly enthusiastic, but she wants Daniel to know she wants to continue talking.

Daniel explains the reason for his call by saying "Sally, I'm wondering if you'd like to get together for dinner with my cousin David and his wife Friday evening.". Some people like to start this conversation by asking "Are you busy Friday night?" rather than giving the reason for the call right away.

Others think it is more polite to give the other person all the information so that she or he can decide and give a yes or no answer. What if Sally said she wasn't busy Friday night, but then Daniel wanted her to do something she didn't want to do? She would have already said she wasn't busy, so she would have to more overtly reject his invitation. By telling her a lot of information, Daniel gives Sally the possibility of saying "Oh, I’m sorry. I'm busy that evening." so she will not have to hurt his feelings with an outright rejection. In that way, Daniel will not be embarrassed to ask her out again at a later date.

Daniel could have said "How would you like to go to dinner with my cousin and his wife Jennifer and me Friday night?" or "I'm going out to dinner with my cousin David and his wife Jennifer Friday night. It would be great if you could go too.".

Sally wants to go. She accepts the invitation by saying "That sounds good. I know David's wife Jennifer pretty well.". She could have said "I'd love to go with you.". What if Sally were busy that night, but wanted Daniel to know he could call another time? She could say "It sounds like fun, but I'm busy that night. Maybe another time?". What if Sally didn't really like Daniel? What could she say so he would never call back again? She could say "Oh, how nice of you to call, Daniel, but I'm seeing someone.". "Seeing someone" means: (translate: being involved in an exclusive relationship).

Daniel is glad that Sally wants to go with him. He answers "Yeah, I thought it would be fun for all of us. Can I pick you up at your apartment around 6:30?".

With the first part of his statement, he affirms what Sally said and explains why he chose this activity to do with Sally. He could have said "I'm glad you like the idea." or "I knew you were acquainted with Jennifer.".

With the second part of the statement, he starts to make arrangements for Friday evening. He could have said "Would you like to meet us or should we pick you up?" or "Do you want to pick me up or should I pick you up?" or "Should I pick you up or would you like to meet me?".

Sally answers "Sure. Should I get dressed up or are we going some place casual?". Sally wants to know how to dress so she won’t be embarrassed by wearing the wrong kind of clothes.

She asks whether she should get "dressed up", which means: translate dressed up, or whether the venue will be casual. She could have said "What should I wear?" or "What are you going to wear?" so she could match her type of clothing to his.

Daniel answers "David suggested a steakhouse – do you eat meat?". Daniel tells Sally the type of place they will be going to – a steakhouse. He could have said "We're planning on going to a steakhouse." or "David suggested Don's Fine Steakhouse.". If Daniel hadn't decided yet, he could have said "We haven't decided yet – do you have a favorite place?" or "We're still thinking about it – what kind of food do you like?" or "Jennifer likes Mexican food, so we're thinking of going to a Mexican restaurant." or "David likes Chinese food, so we were thinking of going to a Chinese restaurant.".

Then Daniel asks Sally "Do you eat meat?". Daniel would be embarrassed and sad if he found out that Sally was a vegetarian or a vegan after taking her to a steakhouse. He could have asked "Do you have any diet restrictions?".

Sally answers "Yes, I eat meat. So is it a casual place?". Sally says that she eats meat, so Daniel knows she is a not a vegetarian or vegan. She asks about the formality of the restaurant." She could have said "Where are we going?" or "Which restaurant are we going to?".

Daniel answers "Pretty casual. I'm wearing jeans. Maybe you can check with Jennifer and see what she's wearing.". What if they were going somewhere more formal? He could have said "I'm wearing dress pants and a tie." or "I'm wearing dress pants and a sports jacket." or "I'm wearing a suit." or "I'm wearing a tuxedo.".

Daniel suggests that Sally check with Jennifer to find out what Jennifer is planning to wear, so the two women would be dressed at a similar level of formality.

Sally says "Okay. You know where I live?". She could have asked "Do you know where I live?" or "Let me give you my address." or "I live at ____address_." or "You can pick me up at ___address___.".

 

Daniel says "Jennifer gave me directions.". He could have said "No, I don’t. Can you give me the address?" or "Jennifer and David will be in the car, and Jennifer knows where you live." or "I'm not sure. Can you give me the address?".

Sally says "Great! I'm looking forward to it. See you Friday at 6:30." She could have said "I'm looking forward to seeing you." or "This sounds like fun." "It will be great to see you.". She then verifies the time and date by saying "See you Friday at 6:30.". She could have said "So you're picking me up at my apartment on Friday at 6:30.".

Daniel says "Me too. See you then.". He could have said "I'm looking forward to it too." or "It will be great to see you too.". He could have verified the time and date by saying "Okay, Friday at 6:30." Or "Okay, I'll pick you up Friday at 6:30.".

Great! Now you are ready to make a date. "Have a good time!".